The pieces are falling into place for Penang Island as it develops into a destination worthy of hosting world-class meetings, events and incentives. Leveraging renewed global interest brought about by its recognition as a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2008, major public and private infrastructure is now being built around the island to ensure that it will be MICE-ready in the next few years.
While modest in terms of size, the Straits Quay Convention Centre (SQCC) is the first purpose-built facility to open in Penang in a long while. What’s more, it is located in one of the island’s newest upscale retail and lifestyle precincts.
Fashion show set up
Community by the sea
SQCC is housed on the sixth floor of the Straits Quay complex, a high-end waterfront residential and shopping enclave covering over five hectares of Seri Tanjung Pinang, a new masterplanned town being developed by the Eastern & Oriental Property Development.
SQCC measures about 2,323 sqm, and can seat groups of between 2,300 and 2,500 in a theatre-style configuration and fit from 150 to 180 tables in a sit-down dinner setup. Over the past year, it has served as the venue for events such as the Hennessy Artistry 2012, MITM Travel Fair and You Are My Sight Charity Concert, among others.
Only 35 minutes’ drive from Penang International Airport, SQCC offers a fresh and flexible venue option for companies who are holding events on the island. "We are a classy venue located off a gated community," says Emily Teh, assistant general manager, retail division, Straits Quay.
According to Teh, SQCC harnesses its connections and relationships with some of Straits Quay’s 80 retail and F&B tenants to deliver custom-made experiences for corporate groups – be it a unique themed coffee break or a special post-event activity. "We do not operate in a vacuum; SQCC has a lot of synergy with the establishments operating within the mall," she notes. "We have bespoke outlets like Sugar, which can offer baking sessions either on its premises or at the convention centre. The same goes for the Art E Space, which can offer customised art classes."
Groups can even try their hand at the art of pewter making at The School of Hard Knocks, a workshop situated inside The Royal Selangor Visitor Centre. Also, the various F&B outlets in the mall can be booked for exclusive lunches or dinners.
Some events do not have to be confined to the SQCC either. Several indoor and outdoor areas within Straits Quay were cordoned off last year to make room for the hosting of special programmes. For instance, the indoor corridors were transformed into a weekend market for a fund-raising event for the earthquake victims of Fukushima. The mall also saw Amazing Race-type treasure hunts being conducted within the complex, while the waterfront promenade hosted a number of outdoor events.
For entertainment, groups can go up on the fourth floor to watch the latest show at the new Performing Arts Centre of Penang, known locally as "penangpac". This venue has two theatres seating 300 and 160, as well as three multipurpose studios that can be booked for rehearsals, classes, events and talks. There are also two gallery spaces for visual arts exhibitions.
Straits Quay has its own marina with space for about 40 yachts, allowing groups to add a cruise dinner/cocktail option into their itinerary. The marina also features a fisherman’s pontoon where local fishing boats bring in the island’s catch of the day. Groups can have their choice of fresh seafood and have it cooked at one of the many restaurants on the waterfront promenade.
A special post-event dinner might involve a meal served at The Fish Tank, a five-storey, aquarium-themed restaurant set within Straits Quay’s distinctive lighthouse, which offers a spectacular view of the marina and the Malacca Straits.
A haven for the arts
SQCC is modest in terms of size but it makes up for this with the range of experiences that it can offer companies and event organisers who choose to host their next function in this modern venue.
UPCOMING EVENTS IN 2013
• Equator Academy of Art Graduation Showcase (March 29-31)
• Battle of the Chefs 2013 (June 13-16)
• MITM Travel Fair 2013 (July 5-7)
• Hennessy Artistry 2012
• MITM Travel Fair 2012
• TouchÈ Fencing Club Tournament 2012
• You Are My Sight Charity Concert 2012
• Popular Mega Book Fair 2012
EXHIBITION AND CONFERENCE SPACE
The SQCC occupies 2,323 sqm on the sixth floor of the Straits Quay mall on Seri Tanjung Pinang. The flexible venue can accommodate groups of between 2,300 and 2,500 people in a theatre-style configuration, and can hold about 150 to 180 tables in a sit-down dinner setup.
• The Performing Arts Centre of Penang – known locally as "penangpac", has a 300-seat and a 160-seat theatre as well as three multipurpose studios that can be booked for rehearsals, classes, events and talks. There are also two gallery spaces for visual arts exhibitions.
• The Straits Quay Marina – can hold 40 yachts, which can be chartered for an exclusive cruise around Penang Island.
CONTACT Straits Quay Management, 3F-G-1 Straits Quay, Jalan Seri Tanjing Pinang, Tanjung Tokong 10470 Penang, Malaysia
TEL +60 4 891 8000